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Metro Police Authority officers running 100 miles in September to benefit kids with cancer

The money raised stays in the local community, supporting Camp Quality for mid-Michigan kids in remission or still going through treatment.
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 6:09 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (9/10/2020) - It’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and one mid-Michigan police Department is going the extra mile to help local kids going through treatment.

Officers with the Metro Police Authority of Genesee County take on a fitness challenge each month. They doubled it this month to support Camp Quality.

The officers, along with some of their friends and family, are working to clock 100 miles by the end of this month.

“It’s tiring, it’s hard, you know, but you just keep going,” Detective Ryan Ortiz said. “You know the goal, you know the mission.”

Ortiz stays motivated thanks to his girlfriend, Breann VanKuren. She runs a 5K every September to raise money for Camp Quality, a year-long support system for local kids in remission or still fighting cancer.

With the race virtual this year and knowing the officers enjoy a challenge, she suggested a 5k every day totaling 100 miles.

“It’s just blown up by so much,” VanKuren said. “We have a ton of our companions and volunteers that are doing it now too and they’re raising money and getting support online.”

That’s eased her concerns this special fundraising effort would’ve been forgotten due to the pandemic.

“I think it just explains what camp is. These kids will bring out the best in people and we’ll do anything for these kids,” she said.

The money raised makes a week-long summer camp for the kids possible too at no cost to their families

VanKuren’s volunteered there for the past 13 years. She got involved knowing the pain and challenge a cancer diagnosis causes for families.

“It just makes their day,” VanKuren said. “And, a lot of them have never been away from home, a lot of them have never gotten to do just a normal summer camp experience. So, I know it’s changed all of my volunteers lives, but definitely the families' lives too.”

“Their challenges are much harder than this challenge is for me,” Ortiz added. “So, anytime you get tired, you just think about what you’re doing, who you’re doing it for and it just motivates you to keep going.”

If you’d like to support their efforts or join them, click here.

For more information about Camp Quality, click here.

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